The Blues boss has urged patience as several members of his squad rise to the high demands of Premier League football
Frank Lampard has pointed towards the characters and legends of Chelsea’s past to explain why several of his top players have stopped scoring regularly.
Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech have just two goals between them since November 1, while Timo Werner is on a 10-game goal drought in the Premier League.
That drying up of goals has become a factor in why Lampard’s side tumbled down the table over the winter period, having briefly been top in early December.
Ahead of a match against Leicester, who sit four places above the Blues, Lampard spoke about how even in a league where big teams are dropping points, Chelsea don’t have the experience of being winners.
“People were touting us as title challengers, [but] we have a squad that’s young in composition – especially in forward areas. We don’t have the players in those areas that this club has had before, that are goal machines or assist machines that win you games,” Lampard began telling reporters.
“We haven’t got Eden Hazard contributing 50 per cent of goals or assists. We haven’t got a [Diego] Costa scoring 30 goals. We are developing those players and I believe in them strongly. We are not quite there where other teams around us maybe are at the front end of the path.
“For us there could be tough times. So it’s important for me and the players to keep working but also stay patient and calm.”
Thomas Tuchel is among those linked with Lampard’s job, while Brendan Rodgers has been linked with a return to west London – where he began his coaching career in Chelsea’s academy.
While managing Swansea, he said he would never take the Chelsea job because the club hires and fires their managers too quickly. Lampard, however, thinks that patience has grown at Stamford Bridge since those comments were made.
“We as a Chelsea team are not the Chelsea when I think Brendan made those quotes,” he said. “But I am presuming they were made at a time when Chelsea had [Didier] Drogba, [Petr] Cech, [John] Terry – I am not going to name myself – [Claude] Makelele. It would have been a team that was always challenging and the benchmark was different.
“At the moment, we are not a team that has Costa, [Cesc] Fabregas or Hazard, to mention the players who came slightly after that. We are a team that when we rely on players at the front end of the pitch, it’s clear that they new to the Premier League.
“So maybe the benchmarks are changing. I can’t consider it too much. I can say it to you, because it’s the truth, and then just keep working. If I can get success, how success is considered now, that is all I can ask in the short-term for myself.
“We have to think short-term in this job. Not just myself, by the way, and let’s not make just Chelsea out to be like this. We have seen a couple of big clubs and big managers be questioned within one, two or three weeks of a couple of results this year and that is the modern world.
“I am not crying about this, because it is the Premier League. We all have different expectations. If we are seen to be not getting to them, then the pressure comes. That is why we are in this job – to handle that.”